Going the distance for John Taylor Hospice

In his blog, Lee Solomon from Lilies Funeral Directors tells us why he ran 26.2 miles to help local families in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield.

In his blog, Lee Solomon from Lilies Funeral Directors tells us why he ran 26.2 miles to help local families in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield.

Staff at local funeral directors Lilies are dedicated John Taylor Hospice supporters. They’ve raised money in a number of ways including competing in the Great Midlands Fun Run and the Birmingham International Marathon, by braving a 170ft abseil down one of Birmingham’s tallest buildings and by tackling the tough Wolf Run challenge!

We’ve invited Operations Director and owner Lee Solomon to be our guest blogger and share his experience of running his first-ever marathon.

Well, what a four hours, 48 minutes and one second that was! I must admit, I am not pleased with my time but after reflecting on the amount of training I didn’t do I should be happy I finished full stop. It was a difficult run but I would do it again – after doing the proper amount of training this time.

Over 9,000 people took part in the Birmingham International Marathon – a 26.2-mile course running past historic points throughout the city.

I took part in the marathon to raise money and awareness for John Taylor Hospice. The hospice is very close to my heart as the team have supported multiple members of my family. Without the care and support of the hospice I feel my family wouldn’t have been able to take the journey through bereavement that they did. John Taylor Hospice truly live up to their motto ‘Every Moment Matters’.

The Birmingham Marathon course started at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr which got the adrenaline pumping. Walking onto the track where the starting line was drawn, knowing that famous athletes had competed on that same track, gave me a sense of pride (but was also a little bit scary).

The stadium teams did well to get everyone pumped and warmed up and then we all steadily made our way across the start line with 26.2 miles ahead of us. The course took the main road into Birmingham City Centre, running over the flyover was a weird feeling and you don’t realise how hilly that thing is until you run it!

The course went through the centre of Birmingham and then out to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Cannon Hill Park, near to Cadbury World then back to Edgbaston before doing the loop out to Cadbury World and back again.

After 22 miles my legs started to fail me – the lack of training had caught up with me and I had to walk for three miles. I said to myself I would run the last 1.2 miles as walking across the line would feel like I hadn’t put my all in. As I was preparing to run the last leg of the race two fellow runners, also supporting John Taylor, ran past shouting cheers of encouragement. I ran up to them and we completed the last 1.2 miles together coming across the line as a team.

Looking back on the race I don’t know how I managed to complete 26.2 miles. I am very proud and honoured to have completed it for such an amazing cause.

If you’d like to be a part of #TeamJTH and help raise vital funds for our hospice then please get in touch. You can reach our Fundraising Team at [email protected] or by calling 0121 728 6739.

This year’s Great Birmingham Run is on Sunday 13 October. Find out more here.

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What our patients think

“I’d have really struggled without them”

“They’ve been ever so good to me and that’s why I wanted to fundraise and do something to help just like they’ve helped me.”

Philomena Sharpe

“The impact they had will never be forgotten”

“The community nurses were so helpful and they’re lovely people. They put my mind at rest and it’s such a comfort to know you’re not on your own.”

Jackie Day

“An angel sent into my life”

“I can’t thank Angie (patient and family support worker) enough for everything she’s done for us. She’s so reliable and professional – a wonderful person. She took away all these worries and was there for me in my time of need.”

Patricia Smith-Evans

“I’ve really enjoyed it”

“The FAB Programme has helped me to get fitter and my walking is better. Everyone is really nice at the hospice, they’re friendly and they’re good company. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation to me.”

Don Bell

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